Standing Requirements NY Bar


Murc
Hey everyone!

After extensive research I am still confused regarding my standing requirements for the NY Bar as an international student. Assuming I will be admitted to NYU's International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration LLM Program, I will, upon sitting for the Bar, have:
LLB from the Netherlands (Bologna-signatory State)
LLM from the Netherlands
The above-mentioned LLM from NYU.

--> Now, will I be eligible for sitting for the Bar or not? Note that I am not permitted to practice law (that is, go to Court etc.) at my home country.
Also, do I need to fulfill certain course requirements, e.g. is the Int. Arbitration LLM from NYU perhaps insufficient? An answer from NYU was not really clear.

I appreciate all help.
Best,
Marc
Hey everyone!

After extensive research I am still confused regarding my standing requirements for the NY Bar as an international student. Assuming I will be admitted to NYU's International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration LLM Program, I will, upon sitting for the Bar, have:
LLB from the Netherlands (Bologna-signatory State)
LLM from the Netherlands
The above-mentioned LLM from NYU.

--> Now, will I be eligible for sitting for the Bar or not? Note that I am not permitted to practice law (that is, go to Court etc.) at my home country.
Also, do I need to fulfill certain course requirements, e.g. is the Int. Arbitration LLM from NYU perhaps insufficient? An answer from NYU was not really clear.

I appreciate all help.
Best,
Marc
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Denning123
It depends whether your bachelor contained Dutch law courses? If so, you will probably have "civil effect", meaning that you fulfilled the academic requirements to be able to become a member of the Dutch bar. This is the first aspect of eligibility for the NY bar exam. The second part is curing your civil law background. For this you will have to take a certain number of fundamental US law courses such as tort, criminal law, constitutional law etc.. Only then will you be able to sit the New York bar. The California bar has slightly lower requirements, meaning that you must not necessarily have fulfilled all the academic requirements to become a member of your national bar, but "merely" show that your education was substantially equivalent to the US JD. But just like in NY you will have to take a one year LLM and take certain classes (unless you are already a qualified lawyer (which you are apparently not) in which case you can sit the CA bar exam without needing to do anything but sending them your bar membership certificate).

Best of luck!
It depends whether your bachelor contained Dutch law courses? If so, you will probably have "civil effect", meaning that you fulfilled the academic requirements to be able to become a member of the Dutch bar. This is the first aspect of eligibility for the NY bar exam. The second part is curing your civil law background. For this you will have to take a certain number of fundamental US law courses such as tort, criminal law, constitutional law etc.. Only then will you be able to sit the New York bar. The California bar has slightly lower requirements, meaning that you must not necessarily have fulfilled all the academic requirements to become a member of your national bar, but "merely" show that your education was substantially equivalent to the US JD. But just like in NY you will have to take a one year LLM and take certain classes (unless you are already a qualified lawyer (which you are apparently not) in which case you can sit the CA bar exam without needing to do anything but sending them your bar membership certificate).

Best of luck!
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KJP
Have you consulted these links?

www.nybarexam.org/Eligible/Eligibility.htm

www.nybarexam.org/Rules/Rules.htm#520.6
Have you consulted these links?

www.nybarexam.org/Eligible/Eligibility.htm

www.nybarexam.org/Rules/Rules.htm#520.6
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Murc
Thank you for your responses.

Unfortunately I will not graduate with a Civil Effect and that leaves me only with a Master's degree in California. That is fine though, as I am currently preferring to sit for the California Bar - and perhaps go for the NY Bar afterwards.

Thank you for the links! They are very useful, although I am already aware of the information in there.
Thank you for your responses.

Unfortunately I will not graduate with a Civil Effect and that leaves me only with a Master's degree in California. That is fine though, as I am currently preferring to sit for the California Bar - and perhaps go for the NY Bar afterwards.

Thank you for the links! They are very useful, although I am already aware of the information in there.
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KJP
All the best!
All the best!
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Denning123
If I were you, I would send my diplomas and transcripts as soon as possible to one of the authorities indicated by the CA bar to check whether your degrees are "substantially equivalent" to the JD. It might turn out that you are ineligible to sit the bar there even if you obtain an LL.M.
Might save you 50K..
If I were you, I would send my diplomas and transcripts as soon as possible to one of the authorities indicated by the CA bar to check whether your degrees are "substantially equivalent" to the JD. It might turn out that you are ineligible to sit the bar there even if you obtain an LL.M.
Might save you 50K..
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Murc
Thank you for the advice! I will do that.

Do you plan on sitting for the Bar yourself? In response to another post of mine you said you were not allowed to sit for the qualification exam at your home country either, as you have an LLB and LLM in European and International law.
Thank you for the advice! I will do that.

Do you plan on sitting for the Bar yourself? In response to another post of mine you said you were not allowed to sit for the qualification exam at your home country either, as you have an LLB and LLM in European and International law.
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Denning123
I don't intend to sit the bar exam for now. I will do my LL.M there then complete a training contract in the UK so that I am a fully qualified solicitor in the UK. After I have qualified in England and Wales I can take the bar exam in CA without needing to fulfill any other requirements.
I don't intend to sit the bar exam for now. I will do my LL.M there then complete a training contract in the UK so that I am a fully qualified solicitor in the UK. After I have qualified in England and Wales I can take the bar exam in CA without needing to fulfill any other requirements.
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Murc
sounds good - best of luck!
sounds good - best of luck!
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@Denning123 after you complete an LLM with enough credits in US law you can pass the bar whenever?
@Denning123 after you complete an LLM with enough credits in US law you can pass the bar whenever?
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Denning123
Hi Stellarlights,

No you can't, which is a problem many people fail to notice. While most people who have studied law before will be elligible to sit the NY or CA bar exam after obtaining the necessary credits (taking a minimum of courses which are examinable at the state bar exam) from a US law school by completing an LLM, this is not an automatic way of obtaining elligibility.

If you have not fulfilled the academic requirements to become a member of your national bar (you don't have to be a member yet) you will not be able to sit the NY bar exam EVEN IF you complete an LLM with the necessary courses. So the academic requirements of your respective home jurisdictions need to be fulfilled!

For CA there is no requirement that you need to have fulfilled the requirements to be a member of your national bar, but you need to prove substantial equivalency of your degree(s) to a JD. So while the hurdle is not as high as in NY it is still pretty high.

If you are already a member of your national bar then you can take the CA bar exam WITHOUT needing to complete any LLM at all! After having passed the CA bar exam you are then also elligible for the NY bar exam as well. So if your aim is to qualify in the US and you are already qualified in another jurisdiction you can do so without incurring the costs of an LLM.

Let me know if you have any further questions,

Denning
Hi Stellarlights,

No you can't, which is a problem many people fail to notice. While most people who have studied law before will be elligible to sit the NY or CA bar exam after obtaining the necessary credits (taking a minimum of courses which are examinable at the state bar exam) from a US law school by completing an LLM, this is not an automatic way of obtaining elligibility.

If you have not fulfilled the academic requirements to become a member of your national bar (you don't have to be a member yet) you will not be able to sit the NY bar exam EVEN IF you complete an LLM with the necessary courses. So the academic requirements of your respective home jurisdictions need to be fulfilled!

For CA there is no requirement that you need to have fulfilled the requirements to be a member of your national bar, but you need to prove substantial equivalency of your degree(s) to a JD. So while the hurdle is not as high as in NY it is still pretty high.

If you are already a member of your national bar then you can take the CA bar exam WITHOUT needing to complete any LLM at all! After having passed the CA bar exam you are then also elligible for the NY bar exam as well. So if your aim is to qualify in the US and you are already qualified in another jurisdiction you can do so without incurring the costs of an LLM.

Let me know if you have any further questions,

Denning
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llm-ip
I'm still confused here whether I'm eligable to apply for the NY bar exam or not, as I'm in a similar situation:

I'm not admitted to the local bar and with my first degree (5 years) alone I'm not fulfilling the requirements of my local bar yet. Is there anyway the possibility that this legal education can be considered equivalent (of course including an LL.M. with necessary content afterswards)?

As the synopsis on
http://www.nybarexam.org/foreign/foreignlegaleducation.htm
states that applicants under rule 520.6 (b) (1) "must have fulfilled the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in a foreign country other than the United States. The applicant must have a qualifying degree, which must be a degree in law."

the 520.6 (b) (1) (http://www.nybarexam.org/Rules/Rules.htm#520.6) itself is stating "The applicant shall show fulfillment of the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in a country other than the United States by successful completion of a period of law study (...)"

So it's a "Must have" or "shall"? Any "cure" provisions won't apply here...
I'm still confused here whether I'm eligable to apply for the NY bar exam or not, as I'm in a similar situation:

I'm not admitted to the local bar and with my first degree (5 years) alone I'm not fulfilling the requirements of my local bar yet. Is there anyway the possibility that this legal education can be considered equivalent (of course including an LL.M. with necessary content afterswards)?

As the synopsis on
http://www.nybarexam.org/foreign/foreignlegaleducation.htm
states that applicants under rule 520.6 (b) (1) "must have fulfilled the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in a foreign country other than the United States. The applicant must have a qualifying degree, which must be a degree in law."

the 520.6 (b) (1) (http://www.nybarexam.org/Rules/Rules.htm#520.6) itself is stating "The applicant shall show fulfillment of the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in a country other than the United States by successful completion of a period of law study (...)"

So it's a "Must have" or "shall"? Any "cure" provisions won't apply here...
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Denning123
Based on your description it would seem to me that you are eligible to sit the bar exam in CA after obtaining an LLM in the US and taking certain courses. With regard to NY it really depends where you studied before and what degree you obtained.

The "fulfillment of the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in a country other than the US" is not always applied strictly! If you have obtained the LLB from Oxbridge for instance you are considered elligible to sit the NY bar exam, even though you have not yet taken the LPC which is a course all students need to take prior to beginning their training contract (which after completiton makes you a solicitor in England and Wales).

I can't give you any guarantee that you will / will not be able to sit the NY bar exam, so simply send them your documents and have them figure it out.

But as said above, I think you should be able to sit the bar exam in CA.
Based on your description it would seem to me that you are eligible to sit the bar exam in CA after obtaining an LLM in the US and taking certain courses. With regard to NY it really depends where you studied before and what degree you obtained.

The "fulfillment of the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in a country other than the US" is not always applied strictly! If you have obtained the LLB from Oxbridge for instance you are considered elligible to sit the NY bar exam, even though you have not yet taken the LPC which is a course all students need to take prior to beginning their training contract (which after completiton makes you a solicitor in England and Wales).

I can't give you any guarantee that you will / will not be able to sit the NY bar exam, so simply send them your documents and have them figure it out.

But as said above, I think you should be able to sit the bar exam in CA.
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llm-ip
Thanks alot for your assessment! You're right, it might be the best just to send everything to NY and CA and not thinking too much beforehand.
Thanks alot for your assessment! You're right, it might be the best just to send everything to NY and CA and not thinking too much beforehand.
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KJP
I've requested NYS BOLE to evaluate my foreign credentials. Waiting for feedback.
I've requested NYS BOLE to evaluate my foreign credentials. Waiting for feedback.
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olivers
As far as I can recall, NY bar requirements for foreign law students, as amended requires the entire long list of courses in your LL.M.

The equivalent law degree from a foreign jurisdiction is a mirage. Just to give you some insight, the rules prior to the amendment also allowed students from a foreign jurisdiction to take the exam provided the courses in the home country were substantially equivalent to an American JD.

This is a rule on the books of most if not all state bars in the US, for compliance with the NAFTA requirements. This rule applies only for Mexican and Canadian law graduates, unless there are similar provisions in some other FTA. As far as passing CA bar and therefore being eligible for NY bar is concerned as reported above, absolutely not. NY and CA are jurisdictions which don't have reciprocity. Each markets wants nothing to do with attorneys registered to practice law in the other jurisdiction and will insist on the graduate retaking at least part of the entire exam. No special kudos for passing the bar in CA or NY with respect to the other. CA will waive the MBE after five years. If you are a member of NY bar after five years you can waive into most other jurisdictions (theoretically). You can take NY and then take CA, with the NY admission credentials. However, that is quiet stupid. If you can take the NY bar, you can take the CA bar. The CA bar has the lowest eligibility requirements, including not requiring an LL.M. if you have a law degree from outside US which is substantially equivalent. Now the substantially equivalent in CA is a very relaxed norm, compared to NY due the CA market where there are lot of online law schools and such. If you are admitted to practice law outside the US, it is even easier, you just give in those details and take the CA bar. Now, CA bar is like a death trap for most foreign law degree holders. Very few foreign lawyers pass the NY bar exam. Even fewer foreign lawyers pass the CA bar.
As far as I can recall, NY bar requirements for foreign law students, as amended requires the entire long list of courses in your LL.M.

The equivalent law degree from a foreign jurisdiction is a mirage. Just to give you some insight, the rules prior to the amendment also allowed students from a foreign jurisdiction to take the exam provided the courses in the home country were substantially equivalent to an American JD.

This is a rule on the books of most if not all state bars in the US, for compliance with the NAFTA requirements. This rule applies only for Mexican and Canadian law graduates, unless there are similar provisions in some other FTA. As far as passing CA bar and therefore being eligible for NY bar is concerned as reported above, absolutely not. NY and CA are jurisdictions which don't have reciprocity. Each markets wants nothing to do with attorneys registered to practice law in the other jurisdiction and will insist on the graduate retaking at least part of the entire exam. No special kudos for passing the bar in CA or NY with respect to the other. CA will waive the MBE after five years. If you are a member of NY bar after five years you can waive into most other jurisdictions (theoretically). You can take NY and then take CA, with the NY admission credentials. However, that is quiet stupid. If you can take the NY bar, you can take the CA bar. The CA bar has the lowest eligibility requirements, including not requiring an LL.M. if you have a law degree from outside US which is substantially equivalent. Now the substantially equivalent in CA is a very relaxed norm, compared to NY due the CA market where there are lot of online law schools and such. If you are admitted to practice law outside the US, it is even easier, you just give in those details and take the CA bar. Now, CA bar is like a death trap for most foreign law degree holders. Very few foreign lawyers pass the NY bar exam. Even fewer foreign lawyers pass the CA bar.
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